Girl sewing, Pattern Review

Purple Mouse Geranium Dress

I jumped on the bandwagon last week and got the Made by Rae Geranium Dress.  And I’ll jump on the bandwagon again and declare that the Geranium Dress is awesome!

Creative Counselor: Geranium Dress
Made by Rae Geranium Dress. Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

This is the first item that I finished for the kids’ upcoming pictures.  I knew that I wanted N to be able to wear the purple mouse fabric that I got her (and I didn’t want it to linger in my stash for a year like so many fabrics have tended to do), so I decided to start with this.

I made very few alterations to this pattern, which I made for her in View A, size 2T.  All I did was omit the sleeves, add piping at the arm openings, neck opening and waistline, add the pockets from View B, and substitute pearl snaps for the buttons.  Hmm, well maybe that is a few alterations!

Creative Counselor: Geranium Dress
This is one of maybe 3 times total that she has consented to wear this dress. Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

I was really surprised how easily this dress went together!  If I hadn’t decided to complicate it by adding piping, I would declare this pattern to be “easy-peasy,” and it probably would have gone together with just a couple hours of sewing.  The piping added an extra step to everything and required me to use my zipper foot and sew really slowly.  And of course when I put the first bit of piping on, it was late and I sewed it to the wrong side of the fabric.  I had the whole piece sewn on before I realized my mistake — I hate it when I do that!

Because of the piping, I also had to hand-sew the bodice lining down at the waistline.  I tried to cheat and topstitch it with my machine, but it looked like crap.  I ripped it out and painstakingly hand-stitched the whole thing.  It looks beautiful but was a royal pain in the rear!

Creative Counselor: Geranium Dress
Back view. Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

The fabric is Country Mice in purple from the Heather Ross Nursery Versery collection.  It is a cotton/linen blend, and is absolutely perfect for this dress!  It has a lovely drape and will breathe very well, but is substantial enough that it was really easy to work with.  The Geranium dress has a nice, full skirt and the linen in this fabric makes the skirt lay so nicely.

I got the fabric at Sarah’s Fabrics in Lawrence, Kansas (home of the University of Kansas), and if you’re ever in the KC or Lawrence area, make a point to stop by Sarah’s.  It is a freaking fabulous fabric store!  It’s lucky I don’t actually live in Lawrence — Sarah’s is kind of my new obsession!

The bodice lining fabric is a random pink gingham cotton seersucker that I got last summer at Joann’s.  I really loved this fabric so I got 3 yards of it and hadn’t used a single scrap!  It was nice to air out a little bit of it at least.  The rest will probably go into an Archer Shirt for me someday.

Creative Counselor: Geranium Dress
The dress in action. It was really windy that day! Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

The long and short of it: Great pattern, great fabric, darling dress.  There are definitely a few more Geraniums in store for N!

Creative Counselor: Geranium Dress
Geranium Dress. Photo by Crystal Liepa Photography

Pattern: Made by Rae Geranium Dress View A (with the gathered skirt)

Size: 2T

Fit: Perfect, with some room to grow!  I haven’t gotten her to actually wear the dress yet, but I did get it on her for a minute before she changed her mind and could see that it fits exactly as I intended.

Modifications: Omitted the flutter sleeves from View A; substituted pink pearl snaps for the buttons called for in the pattern; added the in-seam pockets from View B; added white piping at the neck and arm openings and at the waist.

Physical pattern:  PDF pattern, which isn’t my favorite, but this one wasn’t too bad.  Rae is really good about telling you which pages to print for the size that you need to make.  I traced my skirt pieces on to freezer paper and cut my bodice pieces straight from the pattern since the PDF is set up with each size’s bodice pieces on a different sheet of paper.

Fabric: Heather Ross Nursery Versery Country Mice in purple (main).  Pink gingham cotton seersucker (lining).


  • So many variations!  The pattern includes 2 lengths, 2 sleeve options, and 3 necklines.  By removing the sleeves altogether or adding details like piping or rick rack, the possibilities are endless!
  • Simple design really allows a nice print to shine.
  • Straightforward construction.  The finished product looks like the pattern should be hard, but it is seriously easy.
  • Printing and piecing was about as good as you get for a PDF pattern.


  • Buttonholes — this is probably a personal thing since I just don’t like buttonholes.  Though from a practical standpoint, it’s like wrestling a snake trying to get N to stand still long enough for me to button her into a dress.  Snaps eliminate that problem!
  • I wish the sizing went above size 5.   Granted, a 12-year-old probably wouldn’t want to wear a dress like this, but I certainly think it could still be appropriate for a 7 or 8-year-old.

Overall grade:  A.  This is a very versatile pattern that can serve so many needs.  It would be equally appropriate for a fancy occasion or playing in the sand, depending on the fabric and options used.  A great staple pattern.

2 thoughts on “Purple Mouse Geranium Dress

  1. So cute! Can’t wait to see it in her. I will have to start doing snaps for Ingrid because its impossible to button her up! Love the fabric. I always wanted to make something from that line but I never did!

    1. Me too! And I know Crystal’s pictures of her in it will be light years better than anything I could take.

      If I put N in a dress with buttons now I know I’m going to be chasing her around the house to get it fastened. Snaps all the way!

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